The Air Quality Advisory Committee was created when, in January of 2010, the region was designated part of the Rider 8 Program, a program for communities near non-attainment of ozone standards, by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The program began with a great sense of urgency, as expected changes in air quality standards threatened to lead to a status of “non-attainment” for part or all of the Region. The public health and political ramifications of high ozone made this issue a top concern during fiscal year 2010.
The COG moved quickly to gather stakeholders, establish an Air Quality Advisory Committee, and secure qualified air quality consultants to begin assessment of the region’s ozone picture. It established a website to advise citizens of ozone issues, including days at risk of high ozone readings, and engaged in a public awareness campaign, including multimedia advertising and numerous speaking opportunities around the community.
Mr. Trey Buzbee